by Michael J. Shapiro | February 06, 2013

 New U.S. hotel openings are expected to accelerate in the next two years, according to the Winter 2013 United States Lodging Real Estate Trends report by Lodging Econometrics. While 407 hotels (representing 44,225 rooms) opened in 2012, according to the report, LE forecasts 500 hotels (55,088 rooms) to open this year and 591 properties (66,102 rooms) to debut in 2014. Such numbers would equate to a 1.1 percent increase in supply this year, followed by a 1.3 percent jump in 2014. That's still less than 2010, when 650 hotels (72,218 rooms) opened, but the company says that development will continue to recover due to increasing lodging-industry profitability and favorable mortgage-lending conditions. Lodging Econometrics foresees overall improvements in business confidence and developer sentiment as well, assuming political confrontation will be somewhat less toxic than last year. "Decreased political polarization is the key to improved business confidence and an antecedent for successfully meeting the economic growth and job creation challenges ahead," noted the report.